I am a huge fan of Jill Scott. Actually, I don’t think the word “huge” really captures how much I love Jill. Ever since the release of her classic Who Is Jill Scott: Words and Sounds, Volume I, I’ve been hooked.
I’ll admit, it took awhile before I was aware of who Jill Scott was. At the time I was heavily into Erykah Badu and wasn’t interested in anyone else.
Luckily, I opened my ears and embraced the music of a singer who can really “sang.” I probably listen to her at least once a day.
Her latest project, The Real Thing was the best album of 2007. From previous albums, you could tell Jill has a sensual side, but this album leaves no doubt about it. Just listen real closely to Crown Royal, Come See Me, Epiphany and All I.
I’ve seen Miss Scott perform live on many occasions and each performance is better than the last. She’s on my list of top five best concerts of all time. When you go to a Jill Scott show, you get more than a performance – you walk out holding your head a little higher and your walk is a bit lighter.
After seeing her in 2001, a few girlfriends and I headed to a “special” store and bought some unmentionables because of the things Jill talked about. TMI, I know, but that’s how Jill makes you feel once you see her live.
In 2004, some friends and I went to see Jill on what was dubbed The Buzz Tour. Held at a standing-room only venue, she performed songs from her yet to be released album Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Volume II.
The performance lasted a little more than an hour – leaving the entire audience wanting more. Hence, the reason it was called The Buzz Tour.
Afterwards, my friends and I hung around. Why, I have no idea because we usually beat the crowd out, but we stayed long enough to strike up a conversation with her band members (they were really cool).
Eventually, Jill came from backstage. She greeted us and we told her how much we liked her show and couldn’t wait for the album. She said there was room for improvement (we didn’t feel the same, but she would know better than we would).
She took a photo with us and that was that.
Fast forward to 2007, and one of these friends (she will remain nameless), has decided she doesn’t like Jill anymore because she wasn’t “nice” to us the night we met her.
Confused, I called the other person who was there and asked if she remembered the event the same way I did. She did and said, “I don’t know what she’s talking about, but Jill was very kind and gracious.”
A few weeks ago, I was talking to the now non-Jill Scott fan about the BET Awards (read my previous blog). We were discussing performances and my friend stated that Jill’s performance wasn’t all that great. She continued on about what Jill was wearing (not flattering, she says). I thought the opposite and told her so.
Her reply? “You would think that because you like her.”
I shot back, “And you would think that because you don’t.”
A couple of days later, I was listening to Hate On Me, and it clicked – Jill wrote that song for people like my friend. “Hate on me/Hater/Now or later/cause I’m gonna do me/You’ll be mad baby.”
I’m not saying my friend was mad – she was expressing her opinion. But she definitely is a Jill Scott hater.
It’s cool though, because in my eyes, Jill will always be one of the best singers/poets/performers of my day, and the haters can “go head and hate!”
Upcoming concerts alert!
Aug. 16 at the Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord: JVC Jazz Festival starring George Benson, Boney James, Ramsey Lewis and Norman Brown’s Summer Storm (featuring Chante Moore, Paul Taylor & Alex Bugnon
Aug. 16 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View: Rock the Bells Tour starring A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Mos Def, The Pharcyde, Rakim, Method Man & Redman, Raekwon & Ghostface, Dead Prez and more.